Savannah-Chatham County Public School System
Johnson High School
Terms of Use

Policy - KG:

Regulation - KG-R(1):


The Operating Guidelines for School Facilities are intended to provide an overview of the usage of school facilities, the facilities available for use by outside organizations, the types of organizations eligible to use the facilities, how to apply for facility usage, the facility usage approval process and the conditions, terms and rules for using Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) facilities.

1. School and District Use of School Facilities

The primary purpose of the District's school facilities is to provide a suitable setting for educating its students. Therefore, school-sponsored activities, curricular and extracurricular programs and any other activity undertaken by and for the school, shall always take priority over any other use of school facilities.

The school principal or site administrator is responsible for approving and scheduling school-sponsored activities. While 'facility use fees' do not apply for school-sponsored activities, any additional costs incurred as a result of necessary personnel services, such as custodial, lighting technician, food service management, or security/police services, must be paid.

Individual schools may request use of another school's facilities for school-sponsored activities. When using another school for a school-sponsored activity any costs incurred by the hosting school shall be paid by the user.

School and District use includes educationally beneficial events and programs conducted and organized by third parties at District facilities at the request or invitation of authorized District representatives. 

2. School-Related Support Groups

School-related support groups are defined as organizations devoted exclusively to the support of the school and school-sponsored activities, such as PTAs and booster organizations.

School-related support groups to include but not limited to (PTAs and booster) organizations per Policy LEC & LEC-R(1) - Booster Organizations are not required to pay 'facility use fees' for meetings and activities that directly benefit SCCPSS.

School-related support groups shall have priority for use over other third-party users and shall not be charged facility use fees or rental fees in association with the use of their school’s facilities for supportive purposes. However, any actual additional operational costs (custodial, campus police, technical support, and/or school nutrition staff, plus supplies) incurred by the school must be paid by or on behalf of the school-related support group.

3. District Facilities Available to Third Parties

School facilities available for use by third parties include gymnasiums, cafeterias/cafetoriums, classrooms, kitchens (provided District cafeteria staff is used with the approved use of kitchen equipment), playing fields and athletic fields, parking lots, auditoriums, theaters, concession facilities, media centers, conference rooms and common areas.

Requests to use the Professional Learning Center or other District facilities will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Facilities Rental Department in consultation with the site administrator. Oatland Island Wildlife Center and Massie Heritage Center requests are handled directly through the centers.

4. Application Process for Third Party Facilities Use

SCCPSS utilizes an online reservation system to receive and process facility use applications. Procedural requirements including the timing of applications shall be established in an application protocol for the online reservation system. Applications must be submitted by individuals with legal authority to bind the applicant.

For organizations seeking to use school facilities, the principal has the authority to recommend revoking or suspension of their activities if the principal concludes that the group's use would interfere with school-sponsored activities.

Proposals for lease agreements will be considered by the Facilities Rental Department in consultation with the Deputy Superintendent, Chief Operations Officer, or designee, and appropriate central District staff such as Maintenance & Operations, School Nutrition, Campus Police, and/or Athletic leaders. Proposals approved by Facilities Rental Department will be recommended to the Superintendent and Board with a summary of the proposed terms for approval

The following factors will be considered in reviewing an application for facilities use:

  • The proposed use's potential impact on the facility and District Programs.

  • The duration and frequency of the activity or event.

  • Facility availability including potential interference with other activities.

  • The availability of adequate District personnel to oversee the facility during the activity or event.

  • The number of participants expected.

  • Safety and security concerns.

  • The need to rest the staff, facility, or grounds.

  • Previous experience with any prior violations of policies, rules, procedures, or agreements.

  • The expected educational benefits that will accrue to the District and its students based on the terms of the proposed lease with the third party. (Examples of third party organizations and third party activities that have provided material benefits to the District's educational mission include Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girls on the Run, sports and recreational activities, senior citizen activities and educational programs).

  • Priority for the provision of District facilities will be given to third parties located in Chatham County.

  • Other objective, tangible and non-discriminatory needs or interests of the school or the District

5. Facility Use Agreement Standard Terms and Mandatory Conditions

Facility Use Agreements must be in compliance with the terms of this Regulation and all other applicable Board polices and regulations.

Per the facility use agreement, at least one authorized representative of the organization shall be present during the activity or event.

The organization must agree to indemnify the District for any claim of loss, injury or damage resulting from the organization's use of the school facility.

Except for use agreements involving substantial improvements and/or contributions to school property or arrangements for extended use provided through contractual arrangements entered into by the School Board or Superintendent on behalf of the District, the maximum term of a use agreement is one year.

The District will develop standard use agreements for facilities that have special needs and use specifications (e.g. the Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts).

6. Cancellation of Facility Use Agreement

The District reserves the right to deny a third party’s application or cancel that party’s use agreement when it deems such action to be in the best interest of the District or a school. This denial shall not be based on a third party’s viewpoint or protected status. The party whose use agreement is canceled is responsible for providing timely notification to its members or other participants of a cancellation. Unless otherwise specified in an emergency response agreement, parties shall have no right to use District facilities that close because of adverse weather or other emergencies.

7. Fees for Outside Users

  1. Outside users of SCCPSS facilities must pay certain operating recovery costs resulting from their use of school facilities, including utilities, security, supervision, clean-up, maintenance, depreciation, overtime and any other costs to the District. The fee schedule can be obtained from the Facilities Rental Department website. Fees may change from time to time to reflect current costs and the proposed use, but the District's policy goal is to ensure the most cost-neutral usage and not to generate substantial profit.

  2. If fees are not paid in full at least five (5) District operational days in advance of the activity or event, permission to use the school facility may be withdrawn or a ten (10) percent penalty fee may be added.

  3. Payment should be made online by debit or credit card via the Facilities Rental system to the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System or hand delivered to the Facilities Rental Department at SCCPSS, 208 Bull Street, Room 305, Savannah, GA 31402. Hand-delivered payments must be in the form of a cashier's check or money order. The District does not accept cash payments.

  4. Campus Police, in consultation with the principal/site administrator, and Facilities Rental will determine the level of security protection required. SCCPSS's campus police will provide the services to be paid by the organization.

  5. If an activity is canceled at least five (5) business days in advance of the activity or event, any prepaid user fee will be refunded, less any costs the District has incurred.

8. In-Kind Contributions

In-kind contributions may be considered as an offset to the hourly facility use rental fee paid by outside users. Principals must submit recommended proposals of in-kind contributions with the corresponding approved facility use proposal to the Facilities Rental Department.

In-kind contributions for consideration by the District shall enhance student services, improve the overall performance of school facilities, or reduce maintenance cost. Any personnel staffing fees for the custodian(s), lighting/sound technician, security, and/or food services are required to be paid by the outside organization and generally may not be replaced by in-kind contributions or waived.  Any decision to waive or reduce the assessment of such costs against a user must be approved by a special contractual agreement or Memorandum of Understanding approved by the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee. 

9. Fee Waiver and Reduction Requirements

Requests by organizations wishing to have the District rental fees waived or reduced must meet the following requirements:

  1. The services to be provided must offer a material benefit to the educational mission of the District.

  2. Fee waivers and reductions shall not be denied based on a user's viewpoints or protected status. However, fee waivers and reductions may be denied based on the perceived quality of the proposed services or the limited educational benefit of such services.

  3. The provision of such services must be provided at no cost to the District or students or must be provided at a substantially reduced price (e.g. after school language or music instruction for students offered at 20% of standard market rates value).

  4. The proposed event or activities must be recommended by the school principal or site administrator.

  5. The Fee Waiver request must be submitted to and approved by the Deputy Superintendent, Chief Operations Officer.

10. Insurance, Background Checks and E-Verification

In order to protect the school District, outside organizations and individuals are required to obtain adequate levels of liability insurance covering the event or activity as referenced on the rental application, lease agreement, and contract. Outside organizations and individuals that employ individuals who will perform job duties at school sites are required to provide proof of sufficiently inclusive and adequate workers' compensation coverage. The insurance certificate must be provided to the Facilities Rental Department in order for the organization to be approved to use any facility.

Third party users will be required to comply with E-Verify protocols for work authorization when deemed appropriate or necessary by the District.

Individuals accessing school sites in connection with third party facility use agreements may be required to comply with criminal requirements when deemed appropriate or necessary by the District.

11. Deposits

  1. Outside organizations and individuals can be required to pay deposits for activities involving large groups or for uses that are deemed  likely damage to school property. The Facilities Department has the authority to require deposits. Failure to pay a required deposit will result in the cancellation of the event.

  2. If school facilities are used on an ongoing basis (monthly, weekly, etc.), a deposit of not less than one month's fee may be required in advance along with the fee for the first month. The deposit will be held by the District's Finance Department and will be returned at the end of the approved use period, less any deductions for damage, unpaid fees or other costs resulting from the use, or may be applied to the facilities use fees incurred by the organization.

12. Fundraising by Outside Organizations

Tax-exempt organizations must provide a copy of their IRS determination letter and establish their legitimacy to the satisfaction of the Facility Rental Department before any fundraiser will be allowed.

Outside organizations may not use school facilities for any fundraiser that includes gambling or games of chance.

All contracts related to third-party fundraising activities must be approved by Purchasing prior to execution.

13. Concessions

Sale of concessions by outside organizations utilizing the schools' concession facilities must be approved by the school principal or site administrator and processed through the online system.

14. Media Production Activities

Requests made to the District for the use of facilities by production companies, including movie, television, theatrical, and/or commercial, are assessed on a case-by-case basis. The District may approve or reject the use request for good cause including the impact of the requested use on its educational mission. The District retains the right to review artistic content, including script and production schedule for appropriate use in a school setting; such requests shall be managed by a different process. This review process may not be used to apply viewpoint discrimination to use requests.

15. Political Activities

Political forums held on school property must comply with Policy KIA - Political Campaign Materials Distribution.

16. Standard Rules Governing Use of Facilities

  1. Any facility user or lessee shall not unlawfully restrict participation in an activity or event taking place at a school facility because of an individual's race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information and veteran status.

  2. A school custodian and/or other District employee, as designated by the principal or site administrator, must be present during interior events or activities, and their attendance may be waived by the Facilities Rental Department for exterior activities or events.

  3. District employees are not permitted to give their building keys to an outside party.

  4. Signs, banners, pennants, etc. limited to promoting the event may be erected on school property during the facility rental period only if permission is obtained in advance and only if such displays do not deface school property.  Any advertising must be compliant with Board Policy KJ and Regulation KJ-R(1).

  5. Appropriate supervision must be present for activities involving children.

  6. Parking is permitted only in designated parking areas.

  7. The number of attendees may not exceed the number authorized and must comply with local fire codes.

  8. Approved users and their participants will comply with all use restrictions that limit their access to a site or facility. Entry into areas of a site or facility that have not been designated for use will be considered trespass.

  9. Any use of a facility beyond the time specified in their use agreement is subject to additional fees charged in quarter hour increments.

  10. All activities must be orderly and lawful and must comply with all federal, state and local laws.

  11. Use of lighted athletic fields must end by 10:00 p.m. Lights may remain on until all participants and attendees have safely left the fields.

  12. School buildings are not designed to meet the codes of or permitted for residential occupancy, therefore activities with planned sleep periods (e.g. sleepovers) are not allowed. (Note that this restriction does not apply to approved use in connection with emergency preparation and response activities.

  13. Food and beverages are allowed inside school buildings and on the school grounds only if approved by the principal in compliance with school nutrition rules and processes set out in Policy EEE & EEE-R(1) - Wellness Program.

  14. Alcohol, illegal drugs, weapons or explosives are not allowed in school facilities or on school property.

  15. The use of tobacco products and vaping paraphernalia are prohibited in school facilities and on school property.

  16. Outside organizations may use tables and chairs if requested in advance. A set-up fee shall be charged. Requests to use public address systems or audiovisual equipment will be considered on a case-by-case basis. A fee will be assessed and District personnel must be used to operate such equipment. The following types of District equipment may not be used by outside organizations without a separate agreement: musical instruments, athletic equipment, computers, and technical or laboratory equipment. 

  17. The use of inflatable amusement equipment (e.g. "bouncy houses") is prohibited on District property. 

  18. Any equipment or activity is not permitted on SCCPSS property if using that equipment or conducting that activity results in SCCPSS, any SCCPSS school, any SCCPSS school-related support group or any SCCPSS representative, employee, student or agreeing to indemnify or hold harmless any third party. 

  19. Outside organizations may not make any unapproved modifications to school facilities in order to accommodate their use of the facility. This includes modifications to the electrical, heating, cooling, ventilation or plumbing systems or to the structure or grounds of the facility.

  20. School facilities shall not be used for anything other than the use(s) approved in the lease or use agreement. 

  21. If a user intends to charge an admission fee, it must state the amount of the fee in the application and obtain prior approval, which will be reflected in the facility use agreement.

  22. Third parties are not permitted to bring non-service animals in District facilities unless otherwise approved by the Deputy Superintendent, Chief Operations Officer.

  23. Third parties may not sublease, transfer, or assign the use of school facilities to third-party program providers, including but not limited to other organizations or individuals unless otherwise specifically permitted in a binding contract. 

  24. Third parties that intend to conduct religious activities on school sites will be required to comply with contractual provisions that safeguard against violations of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. 

  25. Any use of copyrighted material for entertainment or fundraising purposes on school property must be approved by the site supervisor where the use takes place.  Any applicable licensing requirements must be met.

17. Use of Athletic Facilities

  1. Use of concession stands will be at the discretion of the Deputy Superintendent, Chief Operations Officer.

  2. The use of gymnasium facilities during the weekend, to include Sundays, is dependent upon staff availability.

  3. When deemed necessary by the District, the County or City shall furnish police protection for County or City events at District athletic facilities or reimburse the District should Campus Police Be required to provide the Services.

  4. Recreational activities, including practices, must end by 10:00 p.m.